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My half-supp'd sword,2 that frankly would have fed,
[Sheaths his Sword. Come, tie his body to my horse's tail; Along the field I will the Trojan trail.3 [Exeunt.
Enter AGAMEMNON, AJAX, MENELAUS, NESTOR, Dio
MEDES, and Others, marching. Shouts evithin.
Achilles! Achilles! Hector 's slain! Achilles !
Dio. The bruit is—Hector's slain, and by Achilles.
Ajax. If it be so, yet bragless let it be;
Agam. March patiently along:-Let one be sent
nection with. Stickler (stic-kle-er) is immediately from the verb stickle, to interfere, to take part with, to busy one's self in any matter. Ritson.
2 My half-supp'd sword, &c.] These four despicable verses, as well as the rhyming fit with which “ the blockish Ajax” is afterwards seized, could scarce have fallen from the pen of our author, in his most unlucky moments of composition. Steevens.
Whatever may have been the remainder of this speech, as it came out of Shakspeare's hands, we may be confident that this bombast stuff made no part of it. Our author's gold was stolen, and the thief's brass left in its place. Ritson.
Perhaps this play was hastily altered by Shakspeare from an elder piece, which the reader will find mentioned in p. 5, n. 1. Some of the scenes in it therefore he might have fertilized, and left others as barren as he found them. Steevens.
3 Along the field I will the Trojan trail. Such almost (changing the name of Troilus for that of Hector) is the argument of Lydgate's 31st chapter, edit. 1555: “ How Achilles slewe the worthy Troylus unknyghtly, and after trayled his body through the fyelde tyed to bis horse.” Steevens.
Enter ÆNEAS, and Trojans.
Hector?- The gods forbid!
Æne. My lord, you do discomfort all the host.
Tro. You understand me not, that tell me so:
4 Never go home ; &c.] This line is in the quarto given to Troi. lus. Johnson.
5- smile at Troy!] Thus the ancient copies; but it would better agree with the rest of Troilus's wish, were we to read, with a former editor:
- smite at Troy!
I say, at once! Steevens. There can be no doubt but we should read-smite at, instead of smile. The following words, “ I say, at once,” make that unquestionable. To call upon the heavens to frown, and on the Gods to smile, at the self-same moment, would be too absurd even for that violent agitation of mind with which Troilus is supposed to be actuated., M. Mason.
Smite was introduced into the text by Sir Thomas Hanmer, and adopted by Dr. Warburton. I believe the old reading is the true one.
Mr. Upton thinks that Shakspeare had the Psalmist in view. “He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.” Ps. ii, 4. “The Lord shall laugh him to scorn; for he hath seen that his day is coming." Ps. xxxvii, 13 In the passage before us, (he adds) “the heavens are the ministers of the Gods to execute their vengeance, and they are bid to frown on; but the Gods themselves smile at Troy; they hold Troy ip derision, for its day is coming." Malone.
Let him, that will a screech-owl aye be call’d,
[Exeunt ÆNE. and Trojans.
6 Make wells and Niobes of the maids and wives, I adopt the conjecture of a deceased friend, who would read-welland, i. e. weeping Niobes. The Saxon termination of the participle in and, for ing, is common in our old poets, and often corrupted at the press. So, in Spenser:
“His glitterand armour shined far away.” Where the common editions have--glitter and. Whalley.
There is surely no need of emendation. Steevens. 7 Cold —] The old copy-Coole. Steevens.
8 — pight -]i. e. pitched, fixed. The obsolete preterite and participle passive of to pitch. So, Spenser:
“ Then brought she me into this desert vast,
" And by my wretched lover's side me pight.” Steevens. 9
with comfort go: Hope of revenge shåll hide our inward woe. This couplet affords a full and natural close to the play; and though I once thought differently, I must now declare my firm belief that Shakspeare designed it should end here, and that what follows is either a subsequent and injudicious restoration from the elder drama, mentioned in p. 5, or the nonsense of some wretched buffoon, who represented Pandarus. When the hero of the scene was not only alive, but on the stage, our author would scarce have trusted the conclusion of his piece to a subordinate character, whom he had uniformly held up to detestation. It is still less probable that he should have wound up his story with a stupid outrage to decency, and a deliberate insult on his audience. But in several other parts of this drama I cannot persuade myself that I have been reading Shakspeare.
As TROILUS is going out, enter, from the other side,
Tro. Hence, broker lackey !1 ignomy and shame? Pursue thy life, and live aye with thy name! [Exit Tro.
Pan. A goodly med'cine for my aching bones!-0 word! world! world! thus is the poor agent despised! O traitors and bawds, how earnestly are you set a work, and how ill requited! Why should our endeavour be so loved, 3 and the performance so loathed? what verse for it? what instance for it? Let me see:
Full merrily the humble-bee doth sing,
As many as be here of pander's hall,
Though not for me, yet for your aching bones.
As evident an interpolation is pointed out at the end of Twelfth Night. See Vol. III, p. 306. Steevens.
1 Hence, broker lackey! ] Thus the quarto and folio. For broker the editor of the second folio substituted brother, which, in the third, was changed to brothel.
Broker, in our author's time, signified a bawd of either sex. So, in King Fohn:
"This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,” &c. See Vol. VII, p. 332, n. 8. Malone.
2_ ignomy and shame -] Ignomy was used, in our author's time for ignominy. Malone.
3 - loved,] Quarto; desir'd, folio. Fohnson.
A set this in your painted cloths.] i. e. the painted canvas with which your rooms are hung. See Vol. VIII, p. 330, n. 5.
Steevens. 5 Some galled goose of Winchester -] The public stews were anciently under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Winchester.
Till then I'll sweat, and seek about for eases;
Mr. Pope's explanation may be supported by the following pas. sage in one of the old plays, of which my negligence has lost the title:
" Collier! how came the goose to be put upon you?
“I'll tell thee: The term lying at Winchester in Henry the Third's days, and many French women coming out of the Isle of Wight thither, &c. there were many punks in the town,” &c.
A particular symptom in the lues venerea was called a Winches. ter goose. So, in Chapman's comedy of Monsieur D'Olive, 1606: " – the famous school of England call'd Winchester, famous I mean for the goose,” &c. Again, Ben Jonson, in his poem called An Execration on Vulcan:
“ this a sparkle of that fire let loose,
“ When Venus there maintain'd her mystery.” In an ancient satire, called Cocke Lorelles Bote, bl. 1. printed by Wynkyn de Worde, no date, is the following list of the different residences of harlots:
66 There came such a wynd fro Winchester,
“ They wyll bylde at Colman hedge in space," &c. Hence the old proverbial simile "As common as Coleman Helge:” now Coleman Street. Steevens.
As the public stews were under the controul of the Bishop of Winchester, a strumpet was called a Winchester goose, and a gallel Winchester goose may mean, either a strumpet that had the venereal disease, or one that felt herself hurt by what Pandarus had said. It is probable that the word was purposely used to express both these senses. It does not appear to me, from the passage cited by Steevens, that any symptom of the venereal disease wat called a Winchester goose. M. Mason.
Cole, in his Latin Dict. 1669, renders a Winchester goose by pun dendagru. Malone.
There are more hard bombastical phrases in the serious part of this play, than, I believe, can be picked out of any other six plays of Shakspeare. Take the following specimens: Tortive, persistive,--protractive, -- importless,-insisture,-deracinate,--dividable. And in the next Act: Past-proportion,---unrespective,-pro